Saturday, July 31

The Great Escape

The Asshole.
Dog #17 has been a pretty sweet dog so far. He's sweet, relatively obedient, and seems to really, really love all of us. He hasn't really gotten wind of the fact that he is a 65 pound monster of a dog, not designed to chill out on our laps when we're watching TV, sleeping, eating, reading, typing, etc. (you get the picture). When we got him, he had a nasty case of doggie pneumonia, and we all pitched in and helped make him better. We'd diligently dice up a hot dog to mix with his yucky dry food every time we fed him. We'd let our ginormous lap-dog stick his furry tail and ass in our faces when he was feeling playful. And that happens a lot. So over the past two or so months that we've had Duke, I would have thought it'd be safe to say that he was as a part of our little hodgepodge family as a foster dog can get. And in this house, it's usually a big part.
So it was a complete and utter shock to me that he would decide to make a break for it the first chance he got.
Let me set the scenario for you. It's 3:30 in the morning. I am in my room, reading Larsson's second Salander/Blmkvist installment. I had a few beers at the Neighborhood Bar after work, and was settling down before going to bed. I thought all roommates were sleeping, but I was wrong. H comes home and timidly knocks on my door, asking me if I want pizza, and oh, by the way, I got you a one month membership to the YMCA (???? I don't ponder it too long, she is a quizzically generous person and the Y has Zumba). Well H is pretty drunk, and I was actually just thinking about food myself, although I had relegated the remainder of my night/morning to reading until I fell asleep. So I agree, and we wake up R and get him a ticket on the pizza train.
When the pizza guy gets there, H just goes straight for the door, not thinking about Duke closely trailing her right to the front door. He ducks out as soon as the door is open enough for him to squeeze right out. Well, shit.
I head outside, and see Duke pissing on one of the trees in our front "yard." As our years of experience has taught H and I with dogs that are off leash, don't start screaming and running after him, just call him over. As with any of the other 16 dogs we've had (except for Kingston, that guy needed an all-points bulletin when he got out), they usually come running over, all stupid and happy. Crisis averted. Not this one. Ohhhh, not this one at all.
This dog Usain Bolts down the street. He's a cheetah running down prey. I can do nothing but start screaming after him, running as fast as I can in a t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and no bra. And he's running. Like a stray dog who has never had a home or humans who love him. Like a total asshole.
He's ran about a block away from home and he crosses the street, and I lose sight of him. I think to myself, "My God, this dog knows exactly what he's doing." I am completely out of breath, my chest hurts from my unsupported boobs swinging all willy-nilly inside my shirt, and I stop running, and decide to go back home and grab my bike to track the little asshole down. It's then that I hear some random stranger tell me that he saw the dog go into a yard and just start sniffing around. So I start jogging down the street more, not calling out his name anymore, hoping to just grab him. Then he appears, takes one look at me, and starts running in the opposite direction, again. Dear God, this animal actually hates us.
I start running after him again, calling out his name, and he takes the next corner and I lose sight of him again. And yet another random stranger is walking up the street, and I scream out to him to please try to grab that dog. And he does. (Side note: the kindness of the people in DC that I have been witness to lately is absolutely stunning. I constantly feel blessed to live in this city.)
Of course Duke is an asshole to the guy and runs away from him, and straight into my hands. I grab the collar and start yelling my thanks to Random 2. Then Duke's hackles go up, and he starts growling and barking at him like he's protecting me. What. A. Dick. Either way, I have the dog back, and the guy is gracious and helpful and continues on his way home at this ungodly hour.
I struggle with the dog to get him home without a leash. At this point we are two blocks away from home, which doesn't seem very far, but this dog is resisting the walk the entire time. I am now a sweaty, unsupported, pissed off mess, and I see H riding down the middle of the street on her bike, looking scattered and a little panicky. I yell out to her and she rides over sans leash and we decide that she'll just ride back to the house real quick, grab the leash, and come back to get us. I am not moving any more with the dog in the condition that he has left me. So she tries to hop on her bike, and can't do it. She swerves and zig-zags, and keeps shifting all over the seat. She falls down, the bike falls on top of her, and I am helpless to do anything but watch it happen. Thank God for comic relief.
Now that bike riding is out of the question, H decides to walk the dog home, and I'll walk the bike. He keeps stepping on her flip-flops, and she keeps falling out of them. And she tell me during the Longest Walk Ever that the pizza guy offered his help to get our dog as well, but H kindly declined. Thank you, Pizza Boli Delivery Guy. You rock.
It took us at least 15 minutes to get home. And that pizza was the best pizza I ever ate.

Tuesday, July 27

I Got Mugged. Crap.

It was one of those really freaking hot days last week, and I was walking back from The Bar at 3:30 in the afternoon. Some old guy, maybe homeless, most likely a very desperate addict of some sort (OK, I'll say it. Crackhead.), jumps out in front of me, seemingly from nowhere, and reaches for my purse. And me with my bright pink top, brand-new large silver purse, big-ass sunglasses, and iPod at full blast, have no idea what the hell this sweaty, crazy-eyed dude wants. I pop out my earbuds, and I hear him say something about my purse, and "knife." Now I'm panicky. I glance over to his right hand, and oh, of course, he's got a big fat kitchen knife in his hand, complete with a glinty 12-inch blade. "Okay, okay," I say, kind of pleadingly, and hand over the purse he's been grasping for. He takes off up the street, and I realized in less than a second that he has everything: house keys, cell phone, book, FUCKING WALLET, I mean, e-ve-ry-thing.
The Corner.

So I take off after him. Screaming. Waving my hands at all the people driving by in their closed-windowed, air-conditioned cars. Not getting any kind of response. And I run my ass off. He leads me down this alley, holding onto the knife and rooting through my brand-new purse (motherfucker, you fucking motherfucker). He gets the wallet out and tosses the purse over a high wooden fence. Good, you piece of shit, take the wallet. I have tears streaming down my face, and I stop chasing him. I see the direction he goes in. I run around to the front of the houses where my purse has landed, and I catch some Sears repair guy taking a street piss and using his driver's side door as his shield. (Tough shit, Repairman, zip it up.)
Through my tears and at this point, my breathlessness, I tell him I just got mugged and turn my back and start banging on doors. He starts asking me if I need to call the cops, and I actually think to myself that I don't need to. What? The? Fuck? Am? I? Thinking?
"Yeah, please, call the cops."
He dials the number (that would be 911) and hands me the phone. And so help me God, I don't know how I do it, but I calmly tell the dispatcher what happened. My breathing slows to a relevantly normal pace, and I give them every single detail of what happened in less than 2 minutes. (Damn, when did I get so good at calling 911?) And here's the biggest kicker of them all; a cop car responds within a minute.
This infant of a cop, braces in his mouth, instructs me to get in the cruiser, and I do. I check my face out in his side-view. I'm flushed, sweaty, smeared, and streaked. I'm a damn mess. Fuck you, Crackhead.
He takes me around the area, asks me some simple questions, and I answer them.
"Oh, I remember everything about this guy."
"Nope, way older than that, like in his 40s or so."
"Black shirt, dark green pants, no facial hair, close-cut hair."
"No, I don't see him anywhere. I know where my purse is though. I ran after him."
The cop, who actually takes a pass at some jokes that I don't laugh at, takes me to the alley where he threw my purse. And we find the purse almost immediately. I can see my book laying in the backyard, and I see the reflection of it in the sliding glass doors of the house. Hallelujiah. I actually feel like I just won something.
More cops come, he gives them a breakdown. One of them points to me and asks, "Is this the victim?" And I get pissed. I'm not a victim. I've never been a victim. Am I a victim? Shit.
I get back in the car, and go back around to the front of the house, as the Cop with Braces tells me what's going to happen. They're gonna get the purse back. A detective is going to ask me some questions. They're going to try to find the guy using my description. I can only pray it's good enough.
Detective Typical shows up, and I switch cars. He takes me back to the exact spot where it happened, and takes my statement as I soak up the air-conditioning he set to full blast when I got in. Ten minutes pass, the Victim-Naming Cop shows up, and he's got my purse in his hand. I check it.
Everything but the wallet.
One of the cops gives me a slip of paper with my case number on it, all his pertinent information, and instructions on what to do if I see this fucker again. Done. Detective Typical asks me if I would like a ride home, and I decline, much to his surprise.
This is MY neighborhood. I will walk home on my own, thank you very much, Officers. I really appreciate everything. Yes, we'll be in touch.

This is my neighborhood.
And I start hyperventilating on the way home.